.45 120 Sharps


Sheldon J
January 25, 2006, 09:00 PM
Thinking of buying one and as only very high priced black power rounds are avilable I plan on brewing my own smokeless, this is a modern gun by Uberti and will according to Uberti handle the smokeless just fine. So any of you out there BTDT'S?

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Deer Hunter
January 25, 2006, 09:14 PM
I've heard they're uncomfortable to shoot regularly, which is the reason why the guy at The box of truth ( http://www.theboxotruth.com/index.htm ) opted for the 45-70 version of the sharps. Yet, if you really want Quiggly's gun, then go for it.

Or you could try to see if you can find one chambered for the 50-140, just for the hell of getting a big gun.

Dave Markowitz
January 25, 2006, 09:17 PM
You might consider getting a .45-70 if you're planning to shoot smokeless. The .45-120 case is HUGE and you'll probably have to use a bunch of filler wads to take up empty space.

Chuck R.
January 25, 2006, 09:41 PM
IF you’re serious about shooting smokeless, you’re going to be better served with the plain old 45-70 (or even a 45-90 2.4”). It can be loaded to the about maximum you can safely get with a 3.25”. That’s pretty much the reason while the big cases faded away. You’ll most likely end up with a big, long, expensive case with 45-70 ballistics.

Even with BP you’ll be hitting diminishing returns with that large a case, and the recoil during long strings is pretty painful. I have a Shiloh in 45-100 (2.6” case) that I use for Buffalo matches and an occasional 800-900-1000 yard match, and it’s about maximum in the recoil dept that I can handle accurately. 96 grains of Swiss 1.5 and a 540 grain Creedmoor bullet gets me 1330 FPS out of my 32” barrel. Even out of a 13lb gun it lets you know it’s there by the end of a match. To tell you the truth, its performance at distance is slightly better than my 45-90. The longer cases also have a little bit of a learning curve as far as loading goes.

BTW, the Quigley rifle was/is a .45-110 (.45 2 7/8ths) it’s believed that the Sharps company never chambered a rifle in 3.25” cause the ability to make a case that long didn’t exist while the company was still making rifles.

If you do want a big case, pay attention to the rifle’s stock design. The “shotgun” buttstocks don’t look as cool as the military buttstocks, but are way more comfortable to shoot.


Sheldon J
January 26, 2006, 11:14 PM
I'm not looking or the Quigley gun the price is way too steep for the .45 110 embleshments, the .45 120 is actually several hundred less, the boy wants to buy the gun for a future big game trip.
I am an expierenced loader but I have never looked up the data on the 70 vs 110 vs 120 been loading hand gun and very specalized rounds for the .45 LC on my TC. The Sharps is a very nice looking gun and is offered only in the 70 N 120 at Cabelas. I'm trying to cost justfy the aditional range the 120 will give for the extra cost of the brass, well that and the very heavy 538 gn bullet. For big dangerous game I would think the heavy bullet could be a plus.
Recently several powder makers have introduced lower weight vs volume powders just for the larger cases. I plan on avoiding Black powder the stuff is just too much of a mess to clean up after, and after droping over a K on a gun you want to avoid rust a all cost.

January 27, 2006, 12:42 AM
The extra case capacity of the .45-90, .45-100, .45-110, and .45-120 was intended to get the most velocity out of blackpowder loadings. You'll have to use a buffer or extra wadding of some sort in the .45-120 or .45-110 if you're loading it with smokeless, and risk ringing the chamber if all isn't perfect. I'm not so certain XMP-5744 will give that great a load density.

.45-110 data:


.45-120 data:


Then there's the recoil. I'm a big guy, 6'0", 200lbs, and can tolerate a goodly amount of recoil. I can even handle about a dozen .45-70 405gr "warm" Reloder 7 handloads from my Ruger #1 at 2150fps. But when you're talking a .45-120 Sharps launching a 535gr Postell at 1600fps, that's gonna leave a mark, both on the buffalo, and on your shoulder. Do it several times, as in a BPCR silhouette match, and your chiropractor may become your best friend after a while.

I had the same choice to make. I went with the .45-70 Sharps, 32" barrel, and load blackpowder for best accuracy and lowest velocity spread behind my 500gr swaged spitzers. Cleanup isn't the hassle people make it out to be, especially in a single-shot falling block rifle. ;)

Regarding the Quigley gun, it's my understanding the chambering for that Hollywood creation was .45-110, per Mike Venturino's column here:


January 27, 2006, 01:53 AM
This is from the Shiloh Rifle forum.

A 45-120 holds more powder and fires a heavier bullet than what did this to my buddy, a 375" H&H mag.


Granted, I don't know who would be so smart as to shoot a .375 H&H mag off his bicep vs. shoulder, but do be careful of what you ask for with respect to smokeless loads in a .45-110 or .45-120 Sharps.

As a matter of fact, it appears that Mr. Waverly on the Shiloh Rifle Forum, and Sheldon J. may be the same individual. If not, they ask very similar questions, see here:


January 27, 2006, 02:40 AM
"...only very high priced black power rounds..." It's not just the loaded ammo. Midway wants $45.99 per 20 for just the brass. $2.30 each.

Jim Watson
January 27, 2006, 08:13 AM
I plan on avoiding Black powder the stuff is just too much of a mess to clean up after, and after droping over a K on a gun you want to avoid rust a all cost.

A common misconception about black powder. It is easier and faster to clean a BPCR than it is to get the gummy smokeless residue and copper out of a modern magnum. The patches just come out blacker. Best get one of those cleaning kits with cradle on top of the box and clean at the range. Ten or 15 minutes.

January 27, 2006, 08:56 AM
Let me second what Jim Watson said. BPCR are quick and easy to clean. They don't smell like roses while you're doing it, but it doesn't take long. I couldn't tell if you're a reloader or not from your post, but smokeless powder in a BPCR goes "bang." Black powder in one goes "BOOM." Forgive the upper case letters. I'm just afraid folks might look at your rifle and shake their heads sadly if it only goes bang. Think of it as artillery you hold to your shoulder.

shane justice
January 27, 2006, 07:57 PM

I was going to go off on a tear...but I choose not to....

Listen to these guys who say get a 45-70....

the 45-70 is one of the most documented cartridges ever...and the most used on game and man alike....

Listen to all the wisdom..and knowledge revolving around in the gun world about the old 45-70....

The 45-70 is good for everything...

For God's sake shoot black powder.....

Save up your money and spend it on the finest rifle built....Shiloh Sharps....

Do notbuy a rifle and some rounds,shoot it three times..wonder how come it won't hit at 1200 yards and then sell it off to somebody else who wants to dream about being a Buffler Hunter....

GO to the Shiloh Sharps Forum...look in the BPCR stuff...

And then save your money...buy a 45-70 Shiloh Sharps...and do it right the first time....

Speaking form experience dude.....please listen....


Chuck R.
January 27, 2006, 09:31 PM
As the other guys pointed out, I’d much rather have to clean one of my BPCRs than a HP rifle. BP with cast led bullets is very, very, easy to clean. Blow tube, couple of wet patches, couple of dry patches, oil and done.

The brass is a different matter, the cleanup is worse than smokeless, but this is the only issue, and even it isn’t that bad. I decap at the range (most guys do), soak in water, then clean using ceramic media in a tumbler once I get home. Brass comes out looking like brand new.

You can always shoot smokeless, but ss the other guys said, there’s just something about hitting steel at 500 meters or a 1000 yards with a bullet you cast over a load of BP.

I’d seriously try to get to a match and check out some rifles before buying anything. A lot of guys will probably offer to let you take a couple of shots if you show interest. It used to be when I started out that you had a choice between a Shiloh, C-Sharps 74, or an Italian Repro. I started out with a used C-Sharps 75 in 45-70, then a Shiloh #1 in 45-100, then a Ballard High-wall in 45-90, then a Ballard High-Wall in 40-70, then a Ballard Low-wall in .22LR. The reason I say this is because there are lots of choices now. Shilohs are easier and faster to get, there’s a couple companies making High Walls, Rolling Blocks, Steven’s 44 ˝, Hepburns. All the action types have their pro’s and con’s. After messing with the 75 and 74, I’ve settled on High Walls.

Loading BP and casting good bullets has a definite learning curve, but the folks in the sport are awesome, and you will get lots of help.


February 13, 2006, 03:38 PM

I am also looking at making the purchase of the QUIGLEY.

I was also thinking I might as well go for the 45-120. I do not plan on shooting the rifle constantly. Nor in matches. I just want the biggest baddest rounds (within reason... not sure I'd go .50), to have fun with this gun.

Going with the bigger round is just an additional warm fuzzy for me. Its part of the fun of owning this beast. If I wanted less recoil, I would not buy this gun.

With that said.... I am still undecided.

Hope to hear from those who actually shoot the 45-120.

Also.... I am not sure who to purchase the rifle from. Is there a real difference buying the rifle from say Shiloh, EMF, Taylor & Co., and Armi Sport, or Pedersoli?? I have seen that you can buy each part of this rifle seperate and build it yourself (have a gunsmith put it all together for you). Is one source superior than the other?

All input is greatly appreciated.


September 9, 2007, 11:41 PM
Shilo will not make you a Quiggly in 45-120 caliber. The 110 is the largest available---I have one and had hhhhhhhhh----LLLLLL getting it to do better than a 4 FOOT GROUP at 80 yards...Bought every powder made ---almost every loading block made---shot the 300 gr. 45-70 almost 100 times-----would kick worse than my 10 gage browning bps---then suddendly after 900 rounds something happened----no kick--50 yd one hole groups--3/4 groups at 100 yds.-- now am shooting 535 gr leads with gas checks --with 36.5 grains of 4755 smokeless,,crono at 1550 fps --34 inch barrell-------After grouping,, I found out that there was very little difference between BP and Smokeless in accuracy--so I shoot both at different times////now a great gun to shoot...I contacted Shilo and the owner said he had several reports of bad accuracy --but the gun is warrented to you for LIFE--He was willing to replace the barrell ,but I chose to keep the origional---wsboxcar

September 9, 2007, 11:54 PM
that powder no is 5744--accurate arms.---wsboxcar

September 23, 2007, 09:02 AM
I too am looking at a uberti in 45-120. I would like to hear from anyone that owns one. It will be strictly a safe filler to be shot occasionally at the range or possibly on a ranch buffaloe hunt. Are the Shiloh's actually worth the price difference? (I know this is a stupid question as most stuff is when you actually get down to it.)

September 24, 2007, 03:38 AM

Jim Watson
September 24, 2007, 08:27 AM
Uberti Sharps are made for them by Pedersoli, which is the best of the foreign copies. The devaluation of the dollar against the Euro is making the imports less attractive versus American made.

The warnings against .45-120 above are real.
Every once in a while somebody comes along and says his shoots great... but seldom gives details of what it takes.
Are you a handloader?

September 24, 2007, 09:00 AM
Get the Shiloh 45-70. It's all you need.

September 24, 2007, 10:46 PM
I am a hand loader but do not cast my own lead. I am not totally decided on the black versus smokeless powder dilemma. But I am leaning towards the black powder. I take it you mean by the warnings are real that it is a bear to shoot and it is finicky on what it likes to eat. The reason I ask about the Uberti is I know where there is one that has been sitting on the shelf for a while. The 1800 dollar price tag tends to shy most people away. As I said this gun will not be used as a match rifle. It will be mainly sitting in the safe and will be taken out for a ranch buffalo hunt. So if it will shoot a 4 inch group at 200 yards I will be happy. I am not 100% sold on the 45/120 but I know it is available and for me that is a big issue as I am overseas and will only be home for two weeks in December. But if the general consensus is that it will not meet my needs and a Shiloh will then I will wait until I am home for good and order the Shiloh. So I am trusting on you OWNERS to steer me in the right direction

Jim Watson
September 24, 2007, 11:49 PM
Well, go over to the Shiloh board and search there for .45-120. You will find enough pro and con to entertain you and maybe help make up your mind.

Also look around at Buffalo Arms for brass and dies. Their cast bullets were not much count in my little Winchester, but they have swaged grease groove .45s that are pretty good. You will have to lube them, though. Sagebrush Supply has decent quality storebought cast bullets, and Montana Precision Swaging sells through Midway and Cabelas, which is convenient.
I haven't tried any Mt Baldy bullets yet, but I will. I can cast good bullets, I just don't like to.


January 30, 2009, 12:35 PM
Hello together. I´m a new member from Germany. First, excuse me for my bad English, but I wont to tell you my experience with the .45-120 SS.
I bought my Uberti High Wall (Cimaron) by eGun, the german eBay for shooter´s.
The first time on the range, I made
10 rounds. After this 10 shoots I had enough, because the recoil was like a mule. Back at home, I ordered
rubber by eBay. Now, I have rubber between my shoulder and my stock.
That is a relief to have fun with the gun. So, that is enough for the first time. I hope, it is O.K. with my bad english.

January 30, 2009, 01:08 PM
I have a Pedersoli in 45-70 which seems to shoot just as well as the C. Sharps and Shilohs. Pedersoli makes excellent barrels, it's just with the American made copies you're paying for better fitting, nicer wood, etc. The C. Sharps and Shilohs look nicer but I think accuracy wise most people won't tell the difference betwen them and Pedersoli.

I would second the .45-70. With a 540 grain bullet and 60 grains of Swiss 1.5 even that caliber packs a wallop on my shoulder. I would also definitely shoot black powder instead of smokeless, especially in the bigger cases. BP is a snap to clean up as long as you use the correct bullet lube (no petroleum products).

January 30, 2009, 05:21 PM
Hello alemonkey,
I have also a Pedersoli Sharps rifle, Mod. Creedmoore in .45-70.
I collect some experiences in Bisley, GB on a 600yards range.
I shoot the Sharps with a BP-charge of 60 grs. Swiss BP and a selfmouldet
bullet of a Lee-mould 500grs like a Postell-bullet.
I put between the charge an the bullet a patch made by a Tetrapack (Juicedrinkpack)
and a little bit of BP-Grease.
Two of three greasegrooves of the bullet looks outsite of the case.
I can say “ It works !!!!”
I didn´t have any time for a longer test on the 900yard range, but I think
60 grs BP is not enough for this distance.
And that is the reason to buy a rifle with a longer case for a bigger charge, I think. ;-))
Now I have a replic from Uberti of a High Wall in .45-120.
I want to shoot with BP on an open range and shoot nitro in a range of 100 meters in a hall.
I think BP is not the problem, but to get reloading data´s for nitro charge is it.
I saw the link to accurate, but this powder is not any time available in Germany.
Can you help me with other nitro powder data´s?

That is the question for you and the other shooter on this thread.
Any tipp´s are welcome.

Please, excuse my bad English.

I have copyrights on my mistakes. Hi,Hi ;-)))

January 30, 2009, 05:24 PM
510 grain semi-spitzer, lubed with spg, 64 grains of swiss FFg, 2 vegetable fiber wads in hornady .45-70 cases, and my Remington No.1 is 1.5 MOA to 300 yards, 2-2.5 MOA to 600. Definitely easier to clean than any smokeless gun I own, excepting the rimfires.

The accuracy with smokeless powders will be good to maybe 250 or 300 yards, but the velocity deviation will be greater with smokeless loads, and accuracy will start to fall off at greater range. BP, if properly loaded, will give much more consistent velocity than smokeless, and less vertical stringing ant long range. Especially in a huge case like the 120.
Besides, 5744 or any small dose of smokeless in that big .45-120 case is a scary proposition to me. Like making a .45 caliber pipe bomb. If smokeless is the only way to go, then get a .45-70.

But what about IMR Trail Boss??

January 30, 2009, 07:08 PM
After putting a black powder .45-70 RNL bullet straight through a buffalo at about 80 yards from a Pedersoli Sharps replica, I no longer think that there's any point to the -90 and bigger versions. AFAIK you lose accuracy and gain, well, nothing. In a Sharps, a 525-grain bullet fits fine, and it really is all you'll ever need. You can't tell the exit hole from the entrance hole, on a buffalo. You really don't need more power than that.

.45-70 and .50-90 are well-balanced cartridges. There's really no point in getting the oddball .45-120, which was a failure in its own time since it didn't work.

February 18, 2009, 11:46 AM
I bought a sharps 45-70 a year ago. I use 5744 aa and 405g cast. The recoil is not much. I bought a 45.100 sharps and use the same powder and 405 cast. I just started with the 45.100 2.6. and need info on smokeless loads. irishjj

February 18, 2009, 06:28 PM
firstly, quigly used a .45-110 as it is known today, then it would have been known as the .45-2 7/8", the .45-120 was not a sharps cartridge, and was brought out after the Sharps Rifle Company was closed, and the .50-140 was a Sharps, but never made as a factory cartridge, only one sharps rifle was ever chambered in one rifle, which was sent to Winchester, they wanted to see if such a cartridge was plausible, it was not, at least at the time. i do agree, however, that if you want to shoot smokeless powder, get a .45-70, you wolnt be disapointed, that if you shot any smokeless powder with the possible exception of IMR Trail Boss, you will need ALOT of filler. if you do get one i would suggest shooting black powder, the big sharpses are very powerful, but not fast, the .45-110 shoots at around 1400 fps with blackpowder from a 34" bbl, and in michagan, there is nothing big enought to warrant needing one, other that just the fun of it, i have read stories about people using them on buffalo, with black powder, it was said to stagger backwards a few feet, if you do chose to get one, i hope you enjoy it!

February 18, 2009, 06:36 PM
I love mine !


and good BP is always available in Switzerland !

May 5, 2009, 04:14 PM
According to a very experienced gunsmith I know who should know better, you can fire any of the "smaller" .45-xx loads through a gun chambered for larger ones. So if you buy the .45-120, you can fire the .45-70 in it.

I have a friend with a .45-120 Uberti, and it is as fine a rifle as you could want. Its fit and finish are excellent, as are details. And I concur: it kicks like a mule with .45-120 cartridges, which my friend pays $8/round for from a custom reloader.


May 5, 2009, 04:19 PM

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 5, 2009, 05:30 PM
I believe Quigley shot a .45-110 in the movie, not 120, IIRC.

"...only very high priced black power rounds..."


:D :D

May 11, 2009, 02:39 AM
Howdy all,

This thread has been running quite a while. Did Sheldon ever get one?

I've had my Pedersoli 45-120 for about 10 years.

I have always cast my own bullets and loaded my own Bell brass.

You do need to use a recoil pad to make it more comfortable to shoot but it's not all that bad. There is a learning curve on getting the loads right. My first try was with Pyrodex and I keyholed every shot. I switched to GOEX F and changed bullet lube and it started to work for me. I'm going to try FF or Cartridge next.

Every time I take it to a range everybody stops shooting and comes over to investigate after my first round (BOOM!)

It's a kick in the a$$ to shoot! (pun intended! :p )

Yes the brass is expensive but I bought about 60 rounds of brass and haven't worn it out yet. (it was about $2/rd even 10 years ago.... so it really hasn't gone up all that much!)

I also have a 45-70 Trapdoor carbine that I also shoot BP in and it's a much lighter gun so it's got a pretty good recoil too.

I would also say that the Pedersoli is as good a replica as the Shiloh is (which is also a replica)

When I got mine, Shiloh was still taking 5 years and cost as much as a car. I got mine from Cabelas a week after I ordered it for about $1000.



Jim Watson
May 11, 2009, 08:34 AM
Shiloh got down under a year delivery time for a while, but I think they are back up around 20 months now. C. Sharps has a faster turnaround time and some inventory. Prices for both start around $1800 if you can stay out of the options list. The C Sharps 1875 at $1380 is a bargain in a shooter but gets no style points.

Pedersoli prices have been creeping up as the Euro continues to gain on the dollar but you can still catch them on sale for a thousand, if you don't have your heart set on one particular variant.

May 11, 2009, 12:36 PM
Hi Jim,

I would never suggest that the Pedersoli has the same fit and finish as a Shiloh, but it's pretty close....

At the time I got mine, a Shiloh was just out of the question. (time & money!)

BPCR is sure a lot of fun though and it got me into it quickly and cheap by comparison!

I think Pedersoli produces pretty good equipment. Everything of course is going up in price these days



Jim Watson
May 11, 2009, 02:34 PM
I am just a spectator on the Sharps front, repeating what I read, hear, and see.

I have a real Winchester and a Browning mutation to shoot.

August 23, 2009, 04:57 PM
getting one built in BigTimber,Montana. The piece hasn't been built yet that hurts me. Recoil - shooot!! ever fire a rifle grenade from an M-1 off the shoulder? that is RECOIL. can't wait for my 120.

August 23, 2009, 05:42 PM

August 23, 2009, 06:33 PM
I shoot a Springfield trapdoor in 45-70 Goex BP factory rounds so far, they will be my supply of brass when I shoot them all up.
But the Sharps is next on my list it will be in 45-70 also, mainly because its easy to find compared to the rest, and will do most anything the other cal's mentioned.
BTW I like the Quigley look.

jim in Anchorage
August 24, 2009, 07:50 PM
These I want a 45-120 threads always amaze me. Inevitably half the posts will be "why do you want a 45-120? the 45-70 is cheaper, easer to find," etc. Why do people buy $2000 ARs they have no use for? The 45-120 is cool, the 45-70 is "well I think I will stick with the economical, practical 4 door all the neighbors own" type caliber.

August 24, 2009, 08:36 PM
I hang with a bunch of cowboy shooters.
Some of the better grade Pedisolies (sp?) are really nice but one guy has a Shiloh Sharps and it is a real work of art. Its not just the next step up it is way out there.
Almost too nice to shoot.

Like others I do think you might follow the advise as far as sticking with 45-70 for smokeless and only go with the big guy for black powder.

Then its your gun so whatever you think will work, Have fun!

August 24, 2009, 08:55 PM
These I want a 45-120 threads always amaze me. Inevitably half the posts will be "why do you want a 45-120? the 45-70 is cheaper, easer to find," etc. Why do people buy $2000 ARs they have no use for? The 45-120 is cool, the 45-70 is "well I think I will stick with the economical, practical 4 door all the neighbors own" type caliber.

The problem is that the big 45's just aren't a good idea for smokeless powder. There's just too much room in that case. That, and an awful lot of people buy 110's and 120's, then realize they're not fun to shoot because they kick so hard.

I think it would be cool to have one, just for the boomstick factor, but if it's your first/only BPCR rifle I think 45-70 or 45-90 is a much better choice.

jim in Anchorage
August 24, 2009, 10:24 PM
The problem is that the big 45's just aren't a good idea for smokeless powder. There's just too much room in that case. That, and an awful lot of people buy 110's and 120's, then realize they're not fun to shoot because they kick so hard.

I think it would be cool to have one, just for the boomstick factor, but if it's your first/only BPCR rifle I think 45-70 or 45-90 is a much better choice
I would no more burn smokeless in a 45-120 then I would try to fill up a model T with 130 octane gas. After all, one of the charms of the caliber is that it is a BP round; if thats not what your interest is why buy a Sharps in the first place?
As far as smokeless go's 45-70 factory rounds are loaded to a level safe for trapdoor Springfield's yet the case[capacity] its self in a strong gun is capable of near .458 levels. The what, 10-20 % more capacity of the 45-120 makes that impossible?

October 22, 2009, 09:23 PM
Don't drop in here often but saw this thread while searching for something else and thought I'd add my two cents worth.

I have a Pedersoli Sharps Long Range Express (34" bbl) in .45-120 that I bought very lightly used a while back for an even grand. (Somebody fired 10 rounds and said "That's enough.") I handload mostly smokeless rounds: 45.5 grns of 5744 (per Accurate's published data, no wads or filler) and 400 grain Barnes originals and Speer JFNs. MV is a tad shy of 1850 fps. With that load recoil's about on a par with an '06 (rifle ways 12 lbs 2 oz). Feels a hair sharper owing to the steel butt plate, but perfectly tolerable. Accuracy is good, around 2 MOA if I'm careful, 3 if I'm not.

The trick to using small loads of 5744 in large cartridges is the same as using Unique in .357 or .44 mag: after loading, point the muzzle up and tap the receiver, then SLOWLY lower the muzzle onto target and shoot. Doing so piles up the powder against the primer in a consistent, repeatable manner and shot-to-shot velocity is good (SD of around 15, not great, but good enough).

I have shot some BP rounds in it (530 grn paper patched with a full 120 grains of Fg) - the mother does kick alright. I'd say about on par with a .375H&H. Definitely not for the timid, but fun (if you're used to that kind of recoil - I am). But I prefer 5744 and copper jacketed expanding bullets - just serves my purpose a bit better.

It's definitely an attention getter at the range.

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